Segas development teams have been responsible for many A-list releases on their home platforms. They have extensive knowledge on a wide variety of genres, including RPGs. After the phenomenal success of Phantasy Star Online, the company is continuing to explore its role-playing avenues, and the latest title to emerge from their R&D studios is Skies of Arcadia.
Telling the tale of the sky pirates, you assume the role of Vyse, the leader of the Blue Pirates. After rescuing a girl named Vina from the greedy Valuans, you embark upon a race to acquire six magical crystals before the enemy. Should the Valuans succeed, they will summon the powerful Gigas, wreaking havoc on the skies of Arcadia. You must use all your strength, wits and magic to save the world from destruction.
A beautiful real-time introduction captures the setting of Skies of Arcadia brilliantly. From this moment on, the entirety of your adventure is played in full 3D. Wandering through narrow hallways and exploring vast environments is all aided by the use of manipulative camera controls. But you will soon succumb to the knowledge that random battles are a major part of Skies of Arcadia. This is not necessarily a bad thing; its just a common attribute of the role-playing game. When in battle, you will take control over all characters currently in your party, whether fighting against standard enemies or bosses. Battles are a turn-based affair, and players can utilise any physical attacks they have learned or cast some spectacular magic spells. Any players still standing at the end of a victorious battle will typically receive experience points and acquire any items the opposition has left behind.
Skies of Arcadia bears striking similarities to Squares recent Final Fantasy games, but has the major advantage of fully interactive 3D environments. Taking place over 2 GD-ROMs, Skies of Arcadia is a sizeable adventure with many classic role-playing attributes that contribute to what is a truly enthralling video game.